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When the sons of Jacob went to Egypt for food they became victims of a cruel ruse. As we recently read in the weekly Torah portion, when the provisions the brothers had acquired were loaded on horse and wagon for the return trip to Canaan, the Egyptian viceroy's cup was stealthily planted into the sack of the youngest, Benjamin.
As I write this column I am returning from the Philippines. Yes, the Philippines! Are there any Jews there? Hashem's people are scattered throughout the four corners of the world. And now, as we enter the period described as Chevlei Moshiach, the holy flock has to be awakened and gathered.
Those of you who have been following my column and those of you who have read my books, especially Life Is A Test, know that in the closing chapters, I focus on Acharit HaYamim - the days that will precede our Redemption, known as Chevlei Moshiach - the birth pangs that will herald the coming of Messiah.
On Sunday, February 18, I attended an opening at the Kraft Center for Jewish Life (also known as the Columbia/Barnard Hillel) for the exhibit Words Within.
For the president of Iran, threats to annihilate Israel are now a daily ritual. Were it not for his country's complementary capacity to inflict genuinely existential harms, these threats would not be worrisome. But Iran's capacity to become fully nuclear is now more imminent than had ever been recognized by our own intelligence communities. It follows that a persistent refrain of genocidal intent issuing from Tehran must now be taken with utmost seriousness in Jerusalem.
We have documented 1,800 years of Jewish Art production in the preceding five sections of the "Jewish Art Primer".
After a long and taxing day at work, followed by the usual battle with rush hour traffic, Joe finally arrived home.
All Jewish Art depends upon the choice of subject as the primary vehicle to elicit meaning. Style, composition, form and innovation operate in the context of the theme drawn from Jewish texts, commentaries, Midrashim and history. For the artist, that initial choice inevitably influences the artistic agenda of what follows. In the Sarajevo Haggadah, one of the most treasured masterpieces of the Jewish people, the artist's choice of Biblical passages molded the intellectual shape and tone of this 14th Century Catalonian masterpiece.